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New York City restaurants

With the recession hitting the New York restaurant scene hard, the city's top toques and food impresarios have lately been scaling way back, launching modest bistros and casual brasseries. New fine-dining hot spots like Corton have adjusted their prices for the economic realities, and extravagant haute-cuisine destinations like Jean-Georges have begun offering prix fixe bargains, helping to transform the city into a far more democratic place to dine out. While a reservation at Nobu or Thomas Keller's Per Se is only slightly easier to score these days, the real stars of the New York food scene—the places that are still packed every night—are the casual drop-ins offering great value meals (Fatty Crab, Momofuku, Double Crown). We distilled the city's 18,000-plus restaurant options into this cheat sheet to dining out, an opinionated guide to everything from the best splurge-worthy classic to the finest dirt-cheap burger in Midtown.

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Back Forty, East Village

Pioneering locavore Peter Hoffman opened Back Forty in the East Village to spread the good word about New York's Greenmarket produce—and the good food he...more

Editors' Pick
Black Iron Burger Shop, East Village

New York is full of great neighborhoods but none more fun than the East Village, where walking around the funky streets on a sunny weekend can convince you that...more

Editors' Pick
Hotel Photo
Counter, East Village

Yes, vegetarian restaurants are cheap, but few of them are fun. That's not the case at Counter, an East Village café that bills itself as a Vegetarian...more

Editors' Pick
DBGB, East Village

Daniel Boulud is best known for his haute cuisine palace, Daniel, on the Upper East Side, but the French chef pretty much invented the high-end burger when he...more

Editors' Pick
Double Crown, East Village

As much of a draw for the scene as for the food, Double Crown is a restaurant homage to the British Empire in Asia and a sprawling follow-up to Public and...more

Editors' Pick
Gotham Bar and Grill, East Village

After more than 20 years, Greenwich Village institution Gotham Bar and Grill still feels like New York's most expertly run bustling restaurant. A destination...more

Editors' Pick
Jewel Bako, East Village

Gorgeous sushi, superb sake, and impeccable service keep drawing diners to this pricey-but-worth-it bamboo-lined tunnel. It's owned by entrepreneurial cute...more

Editors' Pick
Hotel Photo
Momofuku Ssäm Bar, East Village

In a city where restaurants sparkle and fade faster than your average teen pop star, it's rare that a critics' darling not only lives up to but also sustains...more

Editors' Pick
Prune, East Village

Resist the urge to call it adorable. Yes, this East Village place is tiny and homey, and yes, the staff is almost all female, but chef Gabrielle Hamilton turns...more

Editors' Pick
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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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